Article written by
Tina MagrabiSenior Content Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
CBD has potential health benefits for just about anyone, including senior adults over the age of 65. But older people can often be skeptical about trying something new. So, how can you convince the elderly person you love that CBD might be good for their health?
First, make it clear that CBD is not new at all; it is an ancient plant-based medicine. Then, arm yourself with knowledge about CBD and discuss the data-supported benefits of consuming this natural botanical compound.
Here are Leafwell’s other top tips for easing the senior in your life into a CBD health regimen.
Tips for Getting Seniors to Take CBD
Share the benefits of CBD with the beloved older adults in your life by trying these persuasive tips:
Emphasize the Benefits
Let the science speak for itself. Numerous studies published in reputable scientific journals have demonstrated the effectiveness of CBD as a potential treatment for medical conditions like:
- Insomnia (a troubling condition which often increases with age)
- Chronic pain
CBD products are also useful for the senior in robust health who simply wants to live well. In particular, CBD may help boost brain health, a benefit of great consequence to older Americans hoping to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.
CBD may also help strengthen bones, which is a particular benefit for post-menopausal women who are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis. Cannabis and CBD may even help older Americans trim their waistlines, potentially reducing the risk of diabetes and extending longevity.
Talk About Legality
While marijuana is illegal at the federal level, CBD is legal in all 50 states. Yes, there are notable exceptions to CBD laws, but most Americans can legally obtain CBD products over-the-counter. Emphasize that CBD is not intoxicating, which is why it enjoys a legal status different from that of cannabis.
Explain That It’s Not Marijuana
For many older Americans who have lived through the country’s War on Drugs, this point is the biggest obstacle. In the 1960s and before, the government churned out vast campaigns of anti-cannabis propaganda. The official U.S. policy equated marijuana with hardcore street narcotics such as heroin, cocaine and illicit barbiturates. In fact, even the term “marijuana” was used to demonize the plant, which is why we here at Leafwell generally prefer to use more scientifically-appropriate terms like “cannabis” or “hemp.”
When considering medical marijuana products, many older Americans have trouble removing the demonizing filter of the War on Drugs. Baffled by misconceptions of indoctrinations past, these older Americans may believe that ingesting a medical marijuana product will trigger hallucinations, a psychotic break or other such extreme reaction. Now, we know that such beliefs aren’t true.
Assure your loved one that CBD will not get them “high” or impair their mind in any dramatic way. In fact, CBD can counteract the psychoactive effects of THC to some extent, meaning that it may even have antipsychotic properties. Also emphasize the fact that no one has ever experienced a fatal overdose on cannabis or CBD alone.
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Ask Them If Their Current Meds Are Helping
One of the big reasons why many people turn to CBD and medical cannabis in general is because either a) their current medications aren’t helping and/or b) their current medications have negative side-effects. Many people also want to reduce their intake of prescription drugs in general, as constantly taking large numbers of pills can take both a mental and physical toll.
Cannabinoids like CBD can help achieve a reduction in the use of many kinds of prescription pharmaceuticals, in particular opioid-based pain medications. However, cannabis can also help reduce the intake of sedatives (benzodiazepine, barbiturate, antihistamine), antidepressants, anxiolytics and arthritis medications (e.g. steroids). For people battling addiction, brain fog, appetite loss, nausea, headaches/migraines or any other such side-effects from their current prescriptions, CBD and medical cannabis can help provide relief.
Get a Doctor’s Help
Many doctors are recommending CBD products to their elderly patients, as it has extremely low abuse/addiction potential, is well-tolerated by most people, and does not cause the same side-effects as many prescription medications. Refer your loved one directly to their own healthcare provider for trusted information on what CBD can do. Some physicians may offer free samples or kits of CBD products, which is another incentive, especially for the frugal senior.
Talk About Its Popularity
On the national scale, a 2019 Gallup poll determined that nearly one in five Americans over age 50 is a return consumer of some type of medical CBD product. It’s very easy to make the argument that the number of seniors turning to routine medical CBD treatments is rising. In fact, the number of Americans over age 50 using CBD products continues to increase.
Show Them Some CBD Products
Pain creams are popular among older individuals who often suffer from chronic muscle and joint discomfort. Introduce an assortment of CBD topicals to the senior in your life to suggest a more natural alternative. Let your loved one know that CBD products come in soothing heated oils, cooling gels and moisturizing creams.
Help the senior in your life experience cannabis medicine with a medical marijuana card. Leafwell’s application process is 100% online, so your loved one can apply from the comfort of their own home.
Get Your Medical Card
Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe for elderly to take CBD?
Many older people can safely take CBD, but you should always check with your doctor before starting any medication. If you are taking prescription antidepressants, blood thinners, or certain other types of drugs, take care with using CBD products, as you may need to reduce intake of these other medications.
Is CBD oil covered by Medicare?
No, Medicare does not currently cover CBD oil, but this status could change. The FDA-approved drug Epidiolex is CBD-based and fully covered by Medicare plans. Therefore, if other CBD products gain FDA approval, then Medicare may eventually cover them as well.
What ailments can CBD help elderly people with?
CBD may help elderly people sleep better, experience lower levels of pain and inflammation, and feel less depressed. In addition, CBD topicals have external benefits for aging skin, making dry areas like knees and elbows feel more supple and moisturized. CBD and cannabis may be useful for many conditions associated with aging, including: